The presidential election recently concluded gave us curmudgeons the rare pleasure of being grumpy no matter the outcome. The contest between knaves and fools was unique that way.* I get to say for the next four years (or until he loses interest and resigns – attention span is a concern), “I didn’t vote for him.” Or for any of the rapscallions and members of the Villains, Thieves, and Scoundrels Union, local 12.
We’re now in the quite unusual situation of having absolutely no idea what to expect from the victor. Even more than usual with politicians, we must always ask, “Yes, but what does he really mean?” Mrs. Clinton is also a notable liar, but with a record of action which indicated a certain predictability. For many, it seems, a horrifying predictability. But the Question of the Hour is, “What will Trump Do?”
And the answer to date is, “Got me.” His appointments so far have ranged from “well, ok,” to “oh, no, please not him” – unless, of course, you are part of the progressive left, in which case the only response to any Trump appointment is to shriek loudly, run from the room, throw something, and dust off your stock of “Racist! Extremist!” response cards. Were he to renominate outgoing administration en bloc, the NYT/WaPo/HuffPo/Kos combine would react with suspicion, and Paul Krugman would write a column Expressing Concern.* *
To me, Mr. Trump is a walking enigma, without convictions or principles, a huckster and salesman, a performer, a player of roles without real center or foundation. This may work out passably if he takes reasonable advice – so far, there are signs he might. Or might not. Or it might turn out badly. Republicans in the House and Senate will have a difficult task, working with him enough to accomplish something, resisting artfully if and when necessary, all amidst a four year tornado of complaining and accusation from the Donkeys.
*Yes, yes, I know that Mrs. Clinton’s fans are blind to her faults and that in their eyes she is their precious ewe lamb. So, to his thankfully rare fans, is Mr. Trump. Though possibly not a ewe lamb. Anecdotally, I think at least some Trump voters chose him in a fit of self-disgust, closing their eyes, holding their noses, muttering, “no, not her,” and left the poll with a certain levity.
**Though I have hope that the Warrior Monk will accept the SecDef job, if only for the chaos and consternation it will cause among the Bad Guys, and possibly make Mr. Putin feel much like Lando Calrissian. Mr. Trump is notorious for altering the deal. That might have been a better name for his book, subtitled, “How to get what you want then kick your partner in the . . .”